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Financially Legal is a twice-monthly podcast with accompanying articles on the financial aspects of the business of law. Host, Dan Lear, talks with law firm leaders, academics, business professionals and thought leaders to provide compelling and provocative insights at the intersection of finance, economics, and law.

Virtual Learning: Credit Card Fees for Law Firms

Posted by Emery Wager on December 3, 2020

For many law firms, credit card processing fees are a sizeable item on the income statement. Because there are a variety of different types of processing fees, it can be difficult to determine exactly how much a firm is paying and how those fees can be reduced.

This event is designed for accounting and financial consulting professionals who work with and advise law firms. We will cover:

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Topics: Firm Financials, Credit Card Fees, Business of Law, Gravity Legal News

Litigation from the Client's Perspective - An Interview with Dan Price

Posted by Emery Wager on October 16, 2020

Recently, our team invited seasoned litigator Diana Siri Breaux, a partner at Summit Law Group in Seattle, to interview Gravity’s founder and CEO Dan Price about this very topic. As a longtime business owner, Dan has his fair share of experience with the legal system. In 2016, that experience reached new levels when Dan’s brother and co-founder, Lucas Price, took him to court after alleging that Dan’s decisions as CEO--including the decision to raise Gravity’s minimum wage to $70,000 a year--had cost him money as a minority shareholder. At stake was not just millions of dollars but the very existence of the company--and the jobs of its 120+ employees.

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Topics: Firm Financials, Business and Culture, Business of Law, Gravity Legal News

Gravity Legal Presents at the ABA Dispute Resolution Tech Expo

Posted by Emery Wager on September 26, 2020

This September I had the pleasure of speaking to the innovative lawyers, mediators and greater dispute resolution community members at the American Bar Association's Dispute Resolution Tech Expo. 

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Topics: Firm Financials, Key Performance Metrics, IOLTA, Business of Law, Gravity Legal News

How should lawyers think about money? The experts weigh in

Posted by Dan Lear on August 21, 2020

Listeners and readers have been pretty interested in our recent podcast on how lawyers talk to clients about money and our recent blog post about how one client (and Gravity Legal team member) wishes lawyers talked to them about money. So, we decided to ask the experts how lawyers should talk to clients about money.

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Topics: Firm Financials, Business of Law

Lawyers Putting Clients On Payment Plans

Posted by Emery Wager on August 21, 2020

This is a guest post by divorce attorney and firm owner, Russell Knight, of Chicago, Illinois 

Almost all lawyers have a retainer or a large initial payment for legal services. Lawyers and clients enter into engagement agreements which specify how that retainer or payment is to be accounted for. Specifically, the money will be applied towards the lawyer’s hourly billing or specifically itemized tasks.

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Topics: Firm Financials, Business of Law

From the Client's Perspective: How I Wish My Lawyer Would Talk about Money

Posted by Emery Wager on August 7, 2020

I’ve put it off all week, but the time has come. I need to pay our law firm. They do great work and have helped protect our company during difficult times. But paying their bill is not a pleasurable experience.

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Topics: Firm Financials, Business and Culture, Business of Law

Episode 12: How do you talk to clients about money? Eight mini-interviews with lawyers across the country about a crucial law practice conversation.

Posted by Dan Lear on August 5, 2020

Conventional wisdom is that there are really only two reasons that marriages end: sex and money. Sex with a client is frowned on and talking about it - except, perhaps as a part of the representation - is probably not a great idea. However, conversations with clients about money can be some of the most important conversations you have with them.

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Topics: Firm Financials, Financially Legal Episodes

How to Boost Your Collection Rate

Posted by Emery Wager on July 15, 2020

Collection rate is defined as the revenue you actually collect into your operating bank account divided by the total amount invoiced. Typical collection rates for law firms are around 85%, but they vary markedly by firm. Increasing your collection rate is a great way to earn more without actually doing any additional work. 

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Topics: Firm Financials, Key Performance Metrics, IOLTA, Business of Law

Dan Talks Law Firm Finances, Company Culture and More with Mark Homer of GNGF

Posted by Emery Wager on June 27, 2020

Dan Lear was recently interviewed by Mark Homer of legal marketing firm GNGF. Dan and Mark dove into many different topics including: 

  • Company culture
  • A $70,000 minimum wage
  • The Gravity Legal platform
  • Law firm finance
  • Alternative fee structures
  • Expectations of the modern consumer of legal services
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Topics: Firm Financials, Key Performance Metrics, IOLTA, Accounting, Business and Culture, Business of Law, Gravity Legal News

Gravity Legal's Dan Lear and Emery Wager Featured on Martindale-Avvo's Legal Tech Event

Posted by Emery Wager on June 26, 2020

This week Dan Lear and Emery Wager joined Erin Levine of Hello Divorce and Liam Moriarty of Lawgood to talk the future Legal Tech. 

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Topics: Firm Financials, Key Performance Metrics, Business and Culture, Gravity Legal News

Simple Strategies To Cashflow Success For Your Law Firm (even during COVID)

Posted by Emery Wager on May 30, 2020

Written By Devon Thurtle Anderson, CEO of Financial Consulting Firm, Skepsis

When I first left my law practice to become a law firm bookkeeper and financial strategist, I was shocked to discover how many law firms struggle with cashflow.  Even more surprising was that this struggle isn’t just limited to a few seemingly rag-tag solo general practice firms.  To the contrary, when I had a chance to look under the hood at dozens of law firms’ books and financial records – including law firms I had always seen as hugely successful – I learned that almost every law firm has a cashflow problem within any given 12-month period.  So, as part of my bookkeeping and consulting services, I set out to change that.

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Topics: Firm Financials, Credit Card Fees, Key Performance Metrics, IOLTA, Accounting, Invoices, Business of Law

Two Ways Law Firms Can Reduce the Cost of Accepting Credit Cards

Posted by Emery Wager on May 15, 2020

Credit cards are a great way to get paid more quickly. The Clio trends report shows that firms who accept credit cards get paid 39% faster than those that don't. 

But credit cards are expensive. For invoice or trust payments where the client enters the card, rather than swiping or dipping, the cost generally hovers around 3%. Furthermore, credit cards are not the only way to provide a high-quality online payment experience.  

Shopping around for better rates can save you a few tenths of a percent, but here are two changes you can make to drastically reduce card fees while still getting the benefit of speedy payments. 

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Topics: Firm Financials, Credit Card Fees, Business of Law

4 Steps to Effective A/R Management

Posted by Emery Wager on May 2, 2020

Managing accounts receivable is important when times are good. But when times are tough, how effectively firms turn accounts receivable into cash can be the difference between going under and thriving.

Expert law firm financial consultant, Chelsea Williams of Core Solutions Group has an excellent video outlining four tips for effective accounts receivable management. Below is a summary, but we highly recommend checking out the video.

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Topics: Firm Financials, Key Performance Metrics, Business of Law

Three Things I Learned from the HTM Coronavirus Growth Symposium and Why You Should Attend

Posted by Dan Lear on April 6, 2020

Starting back on March 23, RJon Robins of How To Manage a Small Law Firm held a series of free daily phone conversations with lawyers  in response to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. RJon was his typically direct but his message was hopeful: there is opportunity out there for lawyers and law firms .

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Topics: Firm Financials, Business of Law, Gravity Legal News

Gravity Legal's Dan Lear Featured on the Clio Daily Matters Podcast

Posted by Emery Wager on April 1, 2020

In this episode of Clio Matters, Dan discusses different ways firms are navigating the new remote work environment. He lists helpful technology resources and tells us whose ideas he's leaning on amidst the chaos (Nate Silver and RJon Robins of How to Manage a Small Law Firm to name a few).  

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Topics: Firm Financials, Credit Card Fees, Key Performance Metrics, IOLTA, Gravity Legal News

Episode 3: Why do trust accounts even exist? And why should we care?

Posted by Dan Lear on March 25, 2020

We get nerdy this episode talking accounting, trust accounting, and regulatory jazz with Lainie Hammond.  Lainie runs a law firm in Washington State helping lawyers with issues related to IOLTA trust account compliance.

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Topics: Firm Financials, Financially Legal Episodes, IOLTA

Five Ways to Shore Up Your Law Firm's Finances Now

Posted by Dan Lear on March 23, 2020

Our lives and livelihoods have changed dramatically over the last two weeks. We’re all hopeful for a swift and significant rebound, but proactive measures will carry the day. Action in crisis can provide a feeling of purpose and normalcy amidst the potentially overwhelming uncertainty. It can also be the difference between going under and thriving.    

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Topics: Firm Financials, Credit Card Fees, Business of Law

State Rules on Charging Clients a Fee for Paying With Credit Cards

Posted by Emery Wager on March 19, 2020

There are three sets of rules lawyers need to navigate  when deciding whether to charge clients a fee for paying with a credit card:

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Topics: Firm Financials, Credit Card Fees, Business of Law

Covid 19 Financial Resources for Firms and Their Clients

Posted by Emery Wager on March 19, 2020

Whether your firm is in need of financial assistance or you are working to advise clients through these difficult times, we've compiled a list of local, state and national Covid 19 financial relief programs. 

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Topics: Firm Financials, Business of Law

Episode 2: The Agile Attorney

Posted by Dan Lear on February 29, 2020

Today, we're excited to have a conversation with John E. Grant, the Agile Attorney. John is a compelling thinker when it comes to law firm economics, law firm efficiency, and law firm productivity. 

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Topics: Firm Financials, Financially Legal Episodes, Key Performance Metrics

Episode 1: Intro to Financially Legal

Posted by Dan Lear on February 29, 2020

Welcome to the very first episode of Financially Legal, with your host, Dan Lear, head of partnerships and marketing at Gravity Legal. 

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Topics: Firm Financials, Financially Legal Episodes

Oklahoma is Latest State Looking to Allow Credit Card Surcharges

Posted by Emery Wager on February 13, 2020

Oklahoma Attorney General, Mike Hunter, in a recent opinion said a state ban on surcharging is most-likely unconstitutional. Surcharging is the practice of charging an additional fee when clients pay by credit card.

Clients should know what it costs law firms to accept credit cards, and those clients should have the option to save money by paying with less expensive methods. Since card brand surcharging rules prevent firms from charging more for the surcharge than the amount of the transaction, it ends up not being a money-making scheme but a clear way to communicate how much those airline miles really cost.

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Topics: Firm Financials, Credit Card Fees, Business of Law

The Real Cost of Accounts Receivable

Posted by Emery Wager on February 3, 2020

Getting clients to pay isn’t easy. As more invoices remain outstanding, accounts receivable creeps upward. As an attorney responsible for the firm's financial success, it's important to understand the real cost of accounts receivable. Here's a simple way to estimate those costs.

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Topics: Firm Financials, Business of Law

Understanding Credit Card Processing Fees for Law Firms

Posted by Emery Wager on January 15, 2020

For many law firms, credit card processing fees are a sizeable item on the income statement. Because there are a wide variety of different types of processing fees, it can be difficult to figure out exactly how much you’re paying. It's also why, at Gravity, we try to simplify this process as much as possible, primarily by offering a fair and transparent pricing structure while providing all the important information in a one-page monthly statement without the jargon. In this article we'll cover the three different categories of processing fees as well as the most commonly-used credit card processing pricing models. 

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Topics: Firm Financials, Credit Card Fees, Surcharging, Business of Law

Can Law Firms Charge Clients for Credit Card Fees in Oklahoma?

Posted by Emery Wager on January 1, 2020

Introduction

The short answer is probably, but there are certain rules and regulations to understand. 

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Topics: Firm Financials, Accounting, Surcharging, Business of Law

Can Law Firms Charge Clients for Credit Card Fees in West Virginia?

Posted by Emery Wager on January 1, 2020

Introduction

The short answer is probably not. See below for all the details. 

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Topics: Firm Financials, Accounting, Surcharging, Business of Law

Can Law Firms Charge Clients for Credit Card Fees in Tennessee?

Posted by Emery Wager on January 1, 2020

Introduction

The short answer is yes, but there are certain rules and regulations to understand. 

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Topics: Firm Financials, Accounting, Surcharging, Business of Law

Can Law Firms Charge Clients for Credit Card Fees in North Dakota?

Posted by Emery Wager on January 1, 2020

Introduction

The short answer is yes, but there are certain rules and regulations to understand. 

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Topics: Firm Financials, Accounting, Surcharging, Business of Law

Can Law Firms Charge Clients for Credit Card Fees in Nebraska?

Posted by Emery Wager on January 1, 2020

Introduction

The short answer is maybe, but probably not. See below for details.  

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Topics: Firm Financials, Accounting, Surcharging, Business of Law

Can Law Firms Charge Clients for Credit Card Fees in Montana?

Posted by Emery Wager on January 1, 2020

Introduction

The short answer is yes, but there are certain rules and regulations to understand. 

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Topics: Firm Financials, Accounting, Surcharging, Business of Law

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